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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 38. — Copy of a Despatch from the Right Hon. Earl Granville to Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G

No. 38.
Copy of a Despatch from the Right Hon. Earl Granville to Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G.

Downing Street, 29th January, 1869.


I have received with the deepest concern the intelligence which has reached-this country from New Zealand during the last few weeks.

I learnt through unofficial channels that, while a colonial force had failed in an enterprise directed against a Native pa on the west coast of the Northern Island, some hundreds of rebel Maoris had attacked some outlying homesteads in the neighbourhood of Poverty Bay, and had cruelly destroyed a number of their own countrymen, and upwards of fifty Europeans—men, women, and children. The details of this afflicting intelligence, with your own observations on them, are furnished in several despatches which I have just received, but to which it is impossible for me to give any adequate consideration before the departure of the mail.

I infer from your telegram of the 18th December—eleven days later than the date of your latest despatch—that the authors of the atrocities which you describe have been severely punished; and I perceive that the colonial authorities are exerting themselves in earnest for the protection of those who depend on them. I hope that before this despatch reaches you the efforts of the Government and the prudence and public spirit of the settlers will have placed the European population of the threatened districts in a position of comparative safety.

I do not very clearly collect from your despatches the precise limits within which the apprehension of Native disturbances is considered to exist, or the number of persons now in arms. It appears to me, at this distance, that the terrible nature of the catastrophe which has occurred leads you to overrate the magnitude of the danger to the colony, more especially as your Ministry do not forward any request to retain Imperial troops at the expense of the Colonial Treasury, but have preferred, as I learn from Sir H. Manners-Sutton, and, I think, very properly preferred, to send to Victoria and the other Australian Colonies for recruits.

I have, &c.,


Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G.